YAP Winter Conference 2019

Members of the State Young Ag Professionals Committee are guest editors of the Nov. 19, 2018 Growing our Generation enewsletter,  featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.

Wes and Brandi Montgomery
Wes and I at the 2018 winter conference.

Brandi Montgomery, co-chair, Fayette County
In February, more than 600 Young Ag Professionals from across the State of Ohio will gather in Columbus to attend Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience. Friday night and Saturday are packed full of awesome entertainment, captivating discussions and lots of fellowship among friends, new and old. Have you ever wondered how all the speakers are chosen or who comes up with the entertainment?

The State Young Ag Professionals Committee spends many hours planning a wonderful conference for each of you!! The planning begins just as soon as everyone is headed home from the conference in February. The YAP Committee meets at the end of the conference to debrief and start vocalizing ideas for the next conference. It’s a great time to start, as we are all at such a high from attending the best conference. The YAP Committee then meets again in March to really start making a plan for speakers and sponsors. We meet in Columbus and we each bring many ideas to the table. We do our best to cover a lot of different pieces of the agriculture industry and we like to bring new and exciting ideas to the conference as well. We also put together contest award packages and begin reaching out to YAP members about applying for our contests.

Once we depart our March meeting, its a boots on the ground effort by each member to start contacting speakers and sponsors. We stay in contact with our fearless leader, Melinda Witten, over the spring and summer and then we begin finalizing plans late summer. We meet again in September to finalize promotional material and the schedule for the weekend.

Throughout the fall we begin advertising the conference and we meet one more time at the OFBF Annual Meeting. At annual meeting, we will host the first round of the Discussion Meet and our contest winners. Our conference truly takes a whole year of planning and our committee each does their part in putting together an awesome conference for our Ohio Young Ag Professionals!

Dustin Converse, vice chair, Union County
2018 YAP ConferenceEarly Bird registration ends Dec. 17 – We urge you to get your registration submitted before the holiday hustle and bustle is in full force! We truly have another exciting conference planned where we will continue celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Ohio Farm Bureau!  We’ll kick of the conference Friday night with good food and open networking, followed by an opening session and Discussion Meet finals. We’ll have some more fun following the Discussion Meet with a casino night and another raffle benefiting the Young Ag Professionals Ag Relief Fund. We’ll be playing with fake money at the game table but we encourage cash to support the Ag Relief Fund raffle.
We’ll start Saturday morning with more good food and an exciting session with Vance Crowe.  Attendees will have a great variety of breakout sessions to choose from as we spend the remaining portion of the morning in sessions of your choice. Post lunch, we will split for another breakout session of your choice and then come back together for a general session led by Chad Colby as he shares his knowledge on emerging technology in agriculture.

To round out the conference, we’re offering a learning session which offers a deeper, more hands on approach than our traditional breakout session. You’ll choose from a screening of Food Evolution, a session on the basics of brewing beer at home, a recipe swap session and tips for prepping meals on the go, an in-depth dive into Chad Colby’s views and knowledge of agricultural technology or a learning session for livestock growers on breaking down the meat. There is truly something for everyone, ages 18-35, at the 2019 Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience. See you there!

Casey Converse, vice chair, Union County

Vance Crowe
Vance Crowe

Many members of our state committee had the opportunity to sit in a workshop led by Vance Crowe, with Bayer Crop Sciences, back in 2017 at the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Fusion Conference.  Vance’s message around advocating for agriculture on social media was so well delivered and empowering that we knew we wanted Vance to join us in Ohio at our conference! Vance is bringing a captivating general session address to our conference, followed by a deeper dive into his keynote at a breakout session later in the day.

Vance’s sessions are inspired by the book “Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of Media Manipulator” by Ryan Holiday.  I read this book at Vance’s recommendation while planning his attendance to our conference and it is quite the eye opening read!  Holiday’s book brings to light how quickly rumors can spread online and how various media outlets intentionally utilize and help spread the known rumors to boost their own ratings and agendas. Vance will teach attendees how to dissect media content and how we can play our part in painting the right picture of American agriculture issues and trends. We are truly excited to bring Vance’s talent to our conference for you to absorb and enjoy!  Follow Vance on Twitter at @VanceCrowe.

Wes Montgomery, co-chair, Fayette County
droneChad Colby will deliver our final keynote address of the day followed by leading an in-depth learning session on UAVs (drones) in agriculture. If you have an interest in seeing what the future in agriculture might look like, Chad will give you a glimpse. Chad is one of the foremost experts in technology in the agriculture industry. He grew up on his family’s farm in central Illinois where he developed a passion for agriculture as well as a love of technology. After spending some time working in the aviation industry he returned to his ag roots and is now the general manager of Central Illinois Ag, a 5th generation Case IH dealership, and founded Colby AgTech. At Colby AgTech, he works with progressive farmers, leading companies, and government agencies to provide deeper understanding of new technologies and recommendations on its practical applications.

A few of us on the Young Ag Professionals Committee have followed Chad for a while on social media, where he was ranked No. 6 on Twitter’s Commercial Drone Industry “20 People to Follow on Twitter,” and we are really excited to bring him to our conference. You can check Chad out for yourself on Twitter @TheChadColby, or tune in to “This Week in Agribusiness” hosted by Orion Samulson and Max Armstrong, where he hosts a weekly segment “Colby AgTech.”

SUBSCRIBE to receive Growing our Generation, a biweekly eletter with a different featured editor to meet each issue. Browse the archive of past issues.

This e-newsletter is brought to you by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals. Learn more about Farm Bureau membership, including a discounted category for those 18-24 years old.

Young Active Member



As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Policy Development
If you have issues with local planning or have legal questions, someone at the Farm Bureau has the answer for you, or they’ll connect you with someone who does.
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Gayle Hansen

Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

Hansen's Greenhouse
Farm Bureau is an incredible organization that has given me countless professional development opportunities in addition to advocating for all sizes and types of farmers.
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Shana Angel

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

We go to a lot of Farm Bureau events, and there’s a lot of camaraderie built because you’re meeting with people who have similar interests and goals.
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Andy Hollenback

Licking County Farm Bureau

Event Calendar
Through its policies it brings together people in the agricultural community and invests in building vibrant communities that support agriculture.
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Eric Bernstein

Kalmbach Feeds

Kalmbach Feeds
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington, D.C.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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